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North Cachar

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The North Cachar Hills District is a region in Assam India.

Regions[edit]

The northern area of the hills are less rugged, with rice cultivation in the many river valleys. The southern area is more scenic.

Cities[edit]

Haflong , the district center, is in the southern part of the hills. Spilling down from a hilltop, it provides wonderful views of the nearby Borail Mountains. There is also a district museum (Mon closed) with some interesting exhibits. The market provides many agricultural products brought in from the countryside, and should certainly be visited. One might get to buy deer and wild boar meat as well as other wild herbs from here. Elite, Eastern, Nathao are the three reasonably-priced (INR 700-800 as of Jan 2016) accommodations, although one might strive to access the most serenely-located government Circuit House, subject to the DC's approval. Another option is the expensive [Landmark Hotel][1] in the luxury range.

One might head to Bagetar, 3 kms off the city center, for a panoramic view of Haflong from the local watchtower. On the way back, a detour through Kunjagram might offer a glimpse into the sleepy village life. Options for eating out are limited. However, the New Hotel inside the market offers tasty Bengali meals at reasonable price.

Excursions from Haflong: Maibang is an ancient capital of the Dimasa people. The Stone House near the river is the only intact relic of the kingdom there, though other artefacts have been discovered during construction and are on display. Langting is a commercial center. There is an evening market that is busy and fascinating. Jatinga' -- famous for the phenomenal suicide drive of flocks of birds in Sep-Oct every year -- is a small village, half an hour down hill from Haflong, accessible by auto-rickshaw/sumo.

Other destinations[edit]

Jatinga, near Haflong, is famous for the "bird mystery." Under certain climate conditions, huge numbers of migrating birds run up against the nearby mountain range and come to rest near the village.

Understand[edit]

Because of its isolation and lack of amenities, a trip to the district, while rewarding, is somewhat adventurous. That said, the Hills are a place of breath-taking beauty. The Dimasa people have a long history in the hills, which were the heartland of their ancient kingdom. The region also has villages of Zemi Naga, Hrangkhol, Hmar, Kuki, and Biate tribal people. Each group has unique traditions and a proud culture. While the isolation of the region has helped preserve these traditions, it also means a lack of development.

Talk[edit]

Indigenous languages of the various tribal groups are most common. In the towns, many speak Hindi, Assamese, or English as a second language.

Get in[edit]

There is daily commercial bus service from Guwahati and Shillong. The area can be reached by train from Guwahati, with a transfer in Lumding. A scenic local train to Silchar has stops in Langting and Haflong Hill.

Get around[edit]

Three-wheeled taxis are ubiquitous in the towns: always make sure of your destination and fare before getting in. Inter-town transport is availavle in buses and "Sumos," large jeeps that often carry ten or more passengers in a quite crowded cab.

See[edit]

Go to the very top of the hill in Haflong for a marvelous view of the Borail Range to the west of the town. Wander down from there into the market to see what might be available. Go to the Circuit House for a view of the Jatinga River. East of the main road is Haflong Lake.

Itineraries[edit]

Do[edit]

Hiking through the countryside would prove a treat for nature lovers. It would be unwise to do this without a local guide.

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

The Dimasa are proud of their traditional dju, a rice beer.

Stay safe[edit]

There has been a history of inter-tribal violence in the area. There are also a number of violent liberation groups. Obviously it is good to check a knowledgable travel agent for local conditions. Becuase of the violence there is a heavy police and paramilitary presence in parts of the district. It is probably unwise to travel in the region without a local guide.

Get out[edit]


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